“The 2006 Rose Bowl: A Football Life” premieres TONIGHT: Friday, January 2nd at 9pm EST on NFL Network.
For bonus content from the film click the photo below of Snoop Dogg with Greg Frith and our crew.
By Greg Frith, Co-Producer
The 2006 Rose Bowl had a huge celebrity presence. The game was played a short ride from Hollywood, and when #1 is playing #2, those who want to be seen come out to play. We knew immediately we wanted to interview a celebrity representative for each team, to help portray the grandeur of this game. The target for Texas was easy; Oscar and Golden Globe winner Matthew McConaughey wasn’t just a Longhorns fan, he was a UT grad that attended all the teams’ games, showed up frequently to practice, and helped coach Mack Brown with a pregame pep talk from time to time. McConaughey had appeared in ABC’s Rose Bowl open in 2006, in a back and forth trash talk segment with Will Ferrell. Naturally, we set our sights on the funnyman to give the Trojans angle. After interviewing a few USC players, we quickly realized who our attention should instead be focused on: Snoop Dogg. Matt Leinart told a story (later re-told to us by Snoop, and it can be seen in the first minute of the film) about how Snoop and his crew drove home in silence after the game, stunned by its outcome; LenDale White revealed that he had actually become close friends with Snoop during his time at USC. And who doesn’t love listening to Snoop talk about anything?
Pinning down actors is always difficult, especially when they are in Japan shooting a movie. It was late October when we finally secured a time to sit down with McConaughey to talk about his beloved Longhorns. He was in Beverly Hills doing a press junket to promote his new movie, Insterstellar. We would be the recess for his work day filled with promoting his movie. What Texas fan wouldn’t want to take a break from monotonously pumping his movie to relive the greatest night ever for a fan of the burnt orange? As expected, he delivered sound bite gold. You don’t become the top leading man in Hollywood without being able to turn on the magic when the red light goes on. His favorite story from that night was a 4th quarter memory of a television timeout, when the Rose Bowl honored its latest Hall of Fame inductees. Vince Young, in the midst of fighting for a national title, left his team to go congratulate the honoree. To McConaughey, it was a perfect example of Young’s calmness. With a twinkle in his eye, McConaughey waxed “at that moment, we said, we’re winning this game”. No second take was necessary.
Two days after interviewing McConaughey, I was on another flight back to Los Angeles, to interview Calvin Broadus – aka Snoop Dogg. Snoop is a huge football fan. You can regularly find him ranting about his Pittsburgh Steelers on twitter, and his son is a highly recruited high school senior from Las Vegas. The hip hop icon could not have been more accommodating at his “compound”, a recording studio surrounded by eight foot walls just a few miles from LAX. The only rules we were given were that you had to remove your shoes when entering. Snoop came downstairs decked out in a Trojans sweatshirt, and gave us all the time we needed. After sitting for a 40 minute interview, he hung out for another half hour just talking football. You got the sense that he would have stuck around talking football for another hour.
McConaughey and Snoop weren’t gratuitous celebrity placements on our behalf to get more eyeballs on the film. They weren’t celebrities with little knowledge of the game, just looking to be seen during a big time event. They were a big part of that Rose Bowl in 2006, and now are a big part of an NFL Films documentary that will preserve the memories of that game forever.
CLICK THE PHOTO BELOW TO SEE THE TRAILER FOR “THE 2006 ROSE BOWL: A FOOTBALL LIFE”
“The 2006 Rose Bowl: A Football Life” is produced by Jeff Cameron, Greg Frith, and John Weiss. The film premieres Friday, January 2nd at 9pm/EST on NFL Network.